VMware Readies Virtualization For Devices, Apps

Paul Maritz, president and CEO, previewed the upcoming technologies and provided an overview of his company's take on the future of cloud computing during his keynote presentation at EMC World this week in Las Vegas.

The new technologies come when IT is entering what Maritz termed the "post-PC" era, which he defined as a time when application developers can no longer assume that end users will still use PCs for their work.

The post-PC era is also characterized by a change in the way customers handle documents. Users, Maritz said, are not so much creating documents as they did before, but instead are more focused on managing the increasing volumes of information streams they receive. This, he said, is forcing IT to focus less on devices and more on how users access information.

With that in mind, VMware next week plans to introduce a new technology, code-named "Horizon," which offers the ability to install applications on a user basis, not on a device basis, Maritz said. Horizon is a SaaS-based technology, he said.

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VMware has been talking about Project Horizon since the VMworld conference last August.

Project Horizon is designed to take into account the significant diversity of devices which users use to access work-related applications and data. It is aimed at establishing a user’s “Cloud Identity” to let them take advantage of the flexibility and new services of public clouds while maintaining the security and control they get from their private clouds.

Next week will also see VMware introduce "MVP," a technology which allows multiple virtual phones to be installed on a single smart device. The technology was first proposed in late 2008.

With MVP, users can purchase their own smart device onto which the user's employer can install a virtual phone, Maritz said.

"So if a user installs a hacked version of Angry Birds on their personal smart phone, it won't allow hackers to access corporate data," he said. "Will users accept this schizophrenic environment? We'll find out."

The new technologies are part of a two-lane journey to the cloud, which Maritz said includes both a business journey and a user journey.

On the corporate side, the cloud provides IT flexibility and simplification which allows CTOs and CIOs to unlock the investment their companies are making in generic infrastructures and direct it towards more business-specific purposes, Maritz said.

"Seventy percent of this spending is going to things that are non-differentiation...We need to free up funds to (help) free up the application backlog," he said.

For business users and consumers, the cloud will be a base on which their mobile connected world will be founded as they increasingly look to carry their digital existence, including photos and videos, with them for life, Maritz said.

"That information can't live in any particular device," he said. "That information has to come out of the device and be accessed from the cloud."